Space and time – What Science and Spirituality say?

Mom wake me up at 6:30 am.’
‘My flight is at 9 am.’
‘My son’s school starts at 8:30 am.’
‘It takes 10 minutes to reach my office.’
‘Our wedding anniversary is in April.’
‘India got its independence on 15th August 1947.’ …

Calendars and clocks are the most essential elements in our lives.  To maintain order, to track events and to progress, time is essential in this physical world. Words like now, early, late, yesterday, today, tomorrow, past, present, future are all in the context of ‘Time’. This ‘time’ is man-made.

Time is cyclic; time is relative; time is repetitive; time is only a concept in man’s brain.

Life in this physical realm is cyclic. Every movement is cyclic right from the macro to the micro. The earth and other planets cycle around the sun. The moon cycles around the earth. Electrons in an atom move cyclically. Seasons are cyclic; day and night are cyclic.

Our heart beat is cyclic and repetitive; our breath is cyclic and repetitve too. We were born because our mothers had their menstrual cycles in alignment with the moon.
If it is 6 am now, in the next 24 hours, we will have another 6 am. Thus time is cyclic and repetitive.
Time is relative. It is not the same for every being on this earth. One year to a human being maybe 7 years to a dog. Even to us as human beings, based on the nature of the mind, we feel time moving fast or slow. If we are happy and ecstatic, we feel time moving fast and if we are sad and in grief, time might seem to move slow.

If we calculated time based on the speed and movement of the earth around the sun, then wouldn’t the time on planets such as Jupiter or Saturn be much slow compared to our time on this earth? Jupiter takes 12 years to go around the sun and Saturn takes 30 years to do so.
Thus we see how time is relative.
Hypothetically, let’s say there were no cyclic movements, then we would perhaps have come up with a different logic to derive time. So, is this ‘man-made’ time real or just an illusion?

Generally, what science struggles to derive at today, spirituality would have already said that thousands of years back. We’ve seen that in many cases. For example, for years together scientists researched matter only to find out that matter does not exist and that we are all waves. Matter is an illusion after all. This is what spirituality has always been saying that we are all energies and that we (souls) are immortal. The physical is always maya in spirituality. Duality is an illusion.
Similarly, spirituality has always seen time and space as one… there was no difference between the two. In India, time is referred to as ‘kaal’ (காலம் in Tamil) and space or emptiness is referred to as ‘kaali’ (காலி). Both time and space or emptiness are referred to by the same word.
Today, Scientists and physicists say that time and space may not be separate entities by themselves, rather an integral part of each other called ‘spacetime.’
For years, we saw time and space as two different entities. We studied time on one axis and space on the other.

spacetime3

What spirituality said long ago, scientists are today saying that these two are the same, calling this the ‘spacetime’.

Scientists are trying to get closer to proving Einstein’s relativity and his theory of four dimensional space-time vortex almost 50 years later. According to his general theory of relativity, gravity is described as the motion of objects following curved lines in space (more accurately spacetime). These curved lines are caused by mass such as planets or the sun itself. Mass causes spacetime to curve.

This means the space should be an elastic material which forms curvatures to certain depths based on the mass in it. In the picture below, the earth in space forms a curvature. The earth, because of its mass, dips into the valley formed in the space (due to the elastic nature of the space), and the curvature formed around the mouth of the valley is the imaginary orbit around which the moon rotates. The gravity that is caused from the movement keeps the moon going. If not for these curvatures, there would be no gravity and thus no movements.

spacetime1

The same works for planets revolving around the sun. The Sun warps spacetime by creating a huge valley (because of its huge mass) and the earth goes around the sun along the curvature in its orbit and it does not fall into the valley because it follows the curve caused by the sun. As per Einstein, this gravity that keeps the earth and other planets moving along their curves is general relativity.

This shows how the universe is like an elastic fabric. This means spacetime can stretch itself.

The picture below shows how the depth of the curvature is formed based on the mass.

Image converted using ifftoany

Let’s assume the space was not elastic in nature and so there were no curves and so no movements. After the big bang, when these huge masses were scattered throughout the universe, they would have taken their places and remained there with no movements. Nothing would have happened after that. It would have been more like a point in time snapshot of these masses. You and I would have never existed.

It is because of the elastic nature of spacetime, curves are formed and movements happen. Thus we see how time causes movements. We generally think that movement from one point to the other, say traveling from point A to point B creates time, but it is the other way round. It is because of time, movements are even possible.

This time or kaal that bends itself due to the cyclic movements, is however applicable only to the physical existence. Earth and all beings on this earth including us are physical and hence this cyclic time makes sense. Existence out of this physical realm does not experience time this way. Time is not cyclic in the non-physical existence. There is no point A and point B in the non-physical existence. It is always point A. We hear stories of ‘Trikaala Gnanis’, who can see the past, present and the future at the same time. This can happen to those who have achieved such awareness where they can detach from their physical existence. During those times, spacetime is not cyclic for them and hence they see all at once. This is not time travel. This is transcending the time in the physical realm.

The non-physical realm also has a time in play, in other words the spacetime that which is not bent. This time is above the time in the physical realm; this is bigger than the cyclic time; this is called ‘Mahakaal’ in spirituality. Shiva is referred to as ‘Mahakaal’. Shi-va as we know is ‘That which is not’. Shiva therefore is the spacetime itself; that which is dark (kaala); that which is empty (kaali); that which is the time (kaal).

If we can transcend the cyclic time, we merge one with the Mahakaal, we merge one with the darkness we came from; we thus become Shiva!!

Pic courtesy: space.com, esa.int

 

 

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Guru

Guru is one of the most commonly used words today. In today’s world, someone who is an expert in a field is called a Guru. Someone who can guide you with their knowledge and expertise in a specific field is a Guru.

In the actual sense, A Guru or Master is an enlightened being who has already been there and seen ‘That’ and hence will guide you in your spiritual path towards the ultimate goal.

A Guru is a window through which one can see the sky.

Guru literally means remover of ignorance. A Guru removes the ignorance of the disciple and shows the path to the ultimate truth, enlightenment.

Above all, A Guru is not a physical being. A Guru is not a person. Guru is a principle; it is a Tatva.

To understand Guru Tatva better, let’s revisit karma and how the karma traps the soul. The trapped soul longs for freedom; it longs for liberation.

Let’s imagine the soul as a ball of air tied around by the thread of karma.

thread

As we keep accumulating karma, the ball of air is surrounded by the thread more and more. Every time we get rid of a karma the thread keeps unwinding from the ball. In our numerous lifetimes as humans, the karmic thread keeps winding and unwinding around the ball of air as we gain a karma or get rid of one. At any given time, the ball of air, in other words, our soul is always tied around by the karmic thread, little or more.

Once we get rid of all the karmas we carry, the last bit of thread unwinds, and the ball of air has nothing to hold it together and so releases and mixes up with the rest of the air outside. In other words, the soul gets dissolved into the higher consciousness.

When a fully blown balloon is popped, the air inside the balloon mixes up with the rest of the air outside. After this, there is no way to pull together exactly the same air that was inside the balloon.

Similarly, once the soul dissolves into the higher consciousness, the individual soul cannot be pulled out separately. Thus all enlightened souls are dissolved into this one higher consciousness.

The souls of great Masters of the past including Krishna, Jesus, Buddha, Sai Baba, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Ramana Maharishi, Yogananda and all countless enlightened Masters are all dissolved into that one higher consciousness.

Based on the need of the time, a Guru or a Master is born into this world from the higher consciousness. Since this soul (ball of air) comes from the higher consciousness, this soul that is born now constitutes that of Krishna, Jesus, Buddha and all other Gurus or enlightened Masters (for there is no way to separate this ball of  air to distinguish Krishna’s soul from that of Buddha’s). It has ingredients of all enlightened souls that were previously dissolved in the higher consciousness.

Bow to this living Guru.

A living enlightened Master today, standing in front of us, is made up of all the enlightened Masters of the past

Thus we see how a Guru is not a person, it is a tatva or principle that goes beyond the human realm. It is divine.

Buddha came to this world when there was so much chattering in the mind. He came when there was misery, sorrow and ignorance. He came to show people the path to get rid of the misery; to get rid of the chattering mind by going into silence. Buddha is silence. That is why wherever we see a Buddha statue, we see him meditating; we see him in silence.

Jesus came to this world when there was so much hatred. Jesus came to spread love. Jesus is love.

In today’s world, the one thing that scares everyone is stress. Even a child has stress today. In this fast moving world, we need ways to overcome this monster. Today’s enlightened Masters or Gurus have come to help people with this. All breathing exercises, pranayama, yoga and meditation are focused to get rid of the stress.

Once in spiritual path, it is essential to have a Guru to help guide us, but is that our job to choose our Guru? It is the other way round. The Guru chooses the disciple when he / she is ready. After all, a Guru is not a person, it is a Tatva or principle guiding us.

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Super Blue Blood Moon

Lunar eclipse on Jan 31st 2018 – Super Blue Red Moon

The lunar eclipse that happens on 31st January 2018 is a Red moon because it is a complete eclipse. It is also a Blue Moon because it is the second full moon this month. It is a Super Moon too because it is a full moon closer to the earth (Perigee).

Super Moon

Moon, takes around 29 days to go around the earth. The moon’s orbit around the earth is kind of elliptical, with one side closer to the earth than the other. The point on the moon’s orbit that is closest to the Earth is called the Perigee and the point farthest away from the Earth is called the Apogee.

This means the Moon hits the Perigee and the Apogee once a month (once at the Perigee and once at the apogee). If it happens to be a full moon or a new moon at the Perigee, then it is called a Perigee Moon astronomically, and referred to as a Super Moon astrologically.

Blue Moon

That which occurs rarely is referred to as ‘Once in a Blue Moon’. Gregorian calendar that we usually follow has 30 and 31 days alternatively with 28 or 29 days in February. A lunar calendar (based on moon’s orbit around the earth) takes about 29 and ½ days to go around the earth and so one lunar month has 29 ½ days.

Typically we see one full moon and one new moon in a month (Gregorian). However, since a lunar month has less days than the Gregorian month, in every two years, we see two full moons in a month.

Blood Moon

As the name indicates, blood moon means red moon. This occurs during a complete lunar eclipse. Though the moon is completely blocked by the earth from the sun, some sunlight reaches the moon’s surface and it shows up as red moon.

Astrological Perspective – Super Blue Blood Moon

Astrologically a lunar eclipse occurs when the sun and moon are directly opposite (7 houses apart) and the luminaries (sun and moon) are both with the lunar nodes Rahu and Ketu. Jan 31st 2018 Moon will be with Rahu in Cancer in Ayilyam (ashlesha) nakshatra and Sun is already in Capricorn in Thiruvonam (Shranvana) along with Ketu. These two luminaries aspect each other.

The chart below shows the planetary positions as of 31st Jan 2018. Capricorn is heavily populated with 4 planets Sun, Ketu, Venus and Mercury. Cancer has Moon and Rahu. More the planets, more complicated it gets with too many planets aspecting each other. Also, Moon indicates the mind and Rahu intoxicates the mind. Sun represents the self; the soul and Ketu is a mystical energy. This means both the mind and self will get intoxicated and highly mystical. This is the best time to refrain one from the worldy activities and focus on going inward. This is the time to meditate. Chant Om Namah Shivaya to remove all planetary activities!!

super blue red moon

Go out and watch the big red moon!! Happy moon watching!!

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Floods in many places – analysis from a Vedic astrology standpoint

Tried analyzing the current weather calamities, especially the storm and flooding in Houston and Louisiana and also the heavy flooding in Southeast Asia especially in Nepal, Bangladesh and India, including the current flooding in Mumbai from a vedic astrology standpoint.

The following vedic astrology chart shows the planetary positions as of 28th August 8:00 am EST. (Ignore the ascendant in the chart. This is only to show where the kochara planets are currently in). Notice the heavily concentrated Leo (Simma rasi) sign. There’s Rahu, Mars, Sun and Mercury all in Magha nakshatra, with Mercury retrograding. Leo is a hot sign, owned by the Sun. This is joined by Mars, another fiery planet. Rahu is a catastrophic planet and Mercury here is not just combusted but also retrograding.

Magha nakshatra is a powerful star, but when aspected by malefics it becomes a krura or ugra nakshatra which can be related to cruel or fierce activities.

The Leo sign is aspected apparently by Ketu from Aquarius and by Saturn from Scorpio. Saturn is air / windy in nature and is a malefic. Scorpio is a water sign. A malefic windy planet from a water sign aspecting a heavily concentrated house with malefics (catastrophic Rahu, retrograding Mercury and forceful Mars), causes the storm and heavy flooding. Although Moon is with Saturn, it is quite fast moving, so will not consider that for now, though it contributes significantly.

floods

 

 

Good thing is the upcoming Rahu Ketu transit on September 9th will reduce the impacts and also Mercury will get back from retrograde to normal on September 6th. However one thing to keep in mind is that Mars has just moved to Leo and will be there for more than a month. Mars is a planet that causes things to happen suddenly. Mars being aspected by Saturn is not a good deal.

Bottom line,  it is not just the Saturn aspecting from a water sign that caused the floods. It is Rahu and other malefics in Leo, especially in Magha nakshatra. It is a combination that caused these floods and damages. Remember, truth is multidimensional, not linear!!

Also, want to emphasize that this combination of Saturn in Scorpio and Rahu in Leo and Ketu in Aquarius is a very rare occurrence, not in the next 100 years for sure.  This is a bad time of the year for many from the beginning of this year 2017 until the Rahu Ketu transit in September. There were many unexpected events including several political disasters, power mongering, sudden loss of loved ones (like the loss of 63 children in UP without oxygen – air), and of course the weather calamities.

Let’s pray for the nature to calm down. Also, this is high time we focus on saving our environment!! This is the law of Karma isn’t it? The boomerang effect!!

 

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Solar Eclipse – Scientific and Spiritual Aspects

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse was visible within a band across the United States, passing from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts. This was visible as partial solar eclipse in other countries.

Here’s an effort to look at this celestial event from both astronomical and astrological perspectives and see what they each mean.

As per science, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, when the Sun, Moon and Earth are in a straight line. This can happen only at new moon when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from the Earth. Also eclipses occur only near a lunar node. Specifically, a solar eclipse may occur if there is a new moon within 17° 25′ of a node.

Note: The lunar nodes are the orbital nodes of the Moon, that is, the points where the orbit of the Moon crosses the ecliptic. The ascending or north node is where the Moon crosses from south of the ecliptic to north of the ecliptic. The descending or south node is where it crosses from north of the ecliptic to south of the ecliptic.

nodes3

 

The picture above shows a solar eclipse where the Sun, the Moon and the Earth are in the same line, the Moon between the Sun and the Earth. The red line is drawn to show this. Also, follow the red line to see the lunar nodes (the two points where the orbit of the Moon cuts the ecliptic). It shows that the solar eclipse is happening at one on the lunar nodes.

Now let’s see what a solar eclipse is from an astrological perspective and also see how science and spirituality all mean the same.

Astrologically, the two nodes of the Moon are referred to as Rahu and Ketu. The north node is Rahu and the south node is Ketu.

Also, astrologically a solar eclipse happens when the Moon goes over the Sun and the two luminaries Sun and Moon are with one of the nodes either Rahu or Ketu, exactly what Science says.

The vedic astrological chart below was done for Jacksonville, Florida for August 21st, 2:30 pm. This is based on the time that was announced when Jacksonville will have its maximum viewing (peak time).

eclipse chart.png

Look at the heavily concentrated Leo (Simha) sign. Both Sun and Moon are at 4:46 degrees in Leo, Magha nakshatra. The Moon is about to cross over the Sun. Also check out Rahu’s position at 00:07 degrees in Leo, Magha nakshatra. It clearly indicates the solar eclipse where the Moon crosses over the Sun at the north node, Rahu. Also, apparently this is a new moon.

This solar eclipse is more powerful for additional reasons where Mercury is retrograding in Leo, and these planets in Leo are being aspected by the retrograde Saturn from Scorpio.

From spiritual perspective, we are miniatures of this universe and these planetary energies in us have the same impacts. During this eclipse time, the Moon energy goes over the Sun energy in the Ajna chakra (Third Eye chakra).

The Moon and the Sun are both luminaries (Sun has light of its own and the Moon reflects Sun’s light). The Moon is a feminine energy and indicates the mind. The Sun is a masculine energy and indicates the soul. The Moon going over the Sun energy for a short period of time, indicates the union of the mind and the soul. Happening at the Ajna chakra makes it more auspicious. This is the best time when one can chant mantras and meditate to take advantage of this union. This will spiritually help raise us.

 

 

 

 

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Jallikattu Protest – Astrological Analysis

Yeru Thazhuvudhal or commonly known as Jallikattu is the traditional sport of Tamilians ageing back to the Sangam period or perhaps even before that. For the last few years there were several controversies on Jallikattu and in 2014 the Supreme Court banned this sport forever in Tamil Nadu. The reason behind playing Jallikattu and the justification slowly spread among the common man including the urban society.

A huge protest (not seen ever before in Tamil Nadu) to remove the ban on Jallikattu was started all over the world from the 16th till 23rd. On 23rd morning, the protest that went peacefully till then was brought to an end by the Tamil Nadu police force through violence.

Why did the protest happen now and not the last two years? Why was this a peaceful protest? Why was this a youth initiated one? Why did it end tragically with violence instigated by the police force? Here’s the astrological relevance to this as the drama unfolded.

I have charts laid out for Chennai for 3 days, 15th, 17th and 23rd. Let’s see how the heat was built up before the protest was initiated on 16th. Then, let’s take a look on 17th to see how it slowly grew big and peaceful and then the chart on 23rd to see why it ended up in a tragic note.

Chart for 15th

15chart 

Every year, Jallikattu typically happens on the day of Maattu Pongal, the day after Pongal. This falls on 15th during non-leap years.

In the astrological chart, Sun represents the central position; the government; the boss. Sun’s house is Leo and now Rahu is in Leo. Rahu is a planet of politics.

Apparently, Ketu is 7 houses from Rahu, in Aquarius, which is Saturn’s house. Saturn represents the common people, democracy, responsibilities, austerity and discipline.

Rahu and Ketu are generally the cause for great conflicts. Rahu and Ketu aspect each other. This means with the current positions of Rahu and Ketu, the government and people are opposite each other.  They conflict each other.

We also see, Rahu is with the Moon on the 15th. The Moon indicates mind and emotions. When Rahu and Ketu are with the Moon (one with it and the other aspecting it), it gives perception to the Moon. It has a magnetic mind and this has the ability to influence people. Thus we see how people were influenced and magnetically pulled together for this cause.

Ketu is a sadhu. It is a mystical planet. The protest was satvic but huge. Being mystical it gave a different world experience as no one expected this huge crowd. Ketu also represents the past. Jallikattu is a tradition of the past.

There are two main reasons why this huge protest did not happen the last two years, but at this time. First, because Rahu is in Leo and Ketu is in Aquarius. The King and the people are always opposite, but this time we have the two great malefics sitting there. This is bound to cause conflicts.

So why not the last month or the months before, when Rahu and Ketu were still there?

The second reason is because Sun (representing the king, the government) just entered into Capricorn on 14th, which is Saturn’s another own house. Moreover, Sun is now aspected by Saturn (representing the people) from Scorpio (Saturn aspects 3rd, 7th and 10th houses from its position).

Saturn is already aspecting Leo for the past 2 years. Supreme court banned Jallikattu 2 years back since when the people were silently revolting against the government. Now when the Sun comes to Saturn’s house, it is trapped. The government is trapped by the people.

Aquarius is a faithful, humanitarian but rebellious rasi (house).

Chart on 17th

17chart

By 17th, the Moon has already moved to Virgo and is with Jupiter. The crowd has already been pulled. The Moon did its job.

We also see how crowded Aquarius is. Along with Ketu we also have Mars and Venus there.

Mars represents energy, courage, initiative and action, and most of all, Mars represents youth. Mars also represents police.

Venus is well-located here in the house of Saturn, which is its friend’s house. It has the potential to transform the energy to devotion and cosmic love. Venus also represents feminine.

Saturn represented the people in the protest. Ketu in Aquarius represented a satvic protest, Mars represented the protest initiated by the youth, and Venus represented the participation of women in the protest and the cosmic love that existed among people in the protest.

Since Saturn also represents responsibility, hard work and discipline, we saw how the people cleaned up the place they were using, distributed food and water as they took up a great responsibility on their shoulders; to fight for democracy; to fight for justice.

We also see how the police was in support with the people. This is because Mars also represents the police and it was with the people, in Aquarius at this time.

Chart on 23rd – the climax

23chartHow is the chart on 23rd different from 15th and 17th? There are two changes we see here. Moon is now with Saturn and Mars has now moved to Pisces.

Mars moves out thus weakening the strength in Aquarius. Saturn with Moon creates fear in the mind. That’s what happened. People ran with fear of being beaten up. Scorpio is Mars’s own house. Fortunately, Scorpio is a water sign. If Saturn and Moon were in Aries, which is a fire sign also owned by Mars, the violence would have been more intense with huge fire damage.

All this violence happened in the Saturn Rahu dasa (Saturn dasa Rahu bukthi). Do we see a pattern here?

Saturn was put to silence through fear but Saturn, the planet of justice, achieved its justice through this humungous historic protest.

Great mysteries always wait ahead of us!! Let’s bow to time and honor it!!

 

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Varna Ashrama Dharma

colors

Varna

All chakras, excluding the ones above our head ascribe to some color. As we know, the chakras are energy centers and the energies in these centers ascribe to one or more colors.

One of the literal meanings for the term ‘Varna’ is color. The caste system that is widely spread and deeply rooted in India is based on this concept of Varna. It goes by the broad definition that the Brahmins (typically light skinned) belong to the highest class, followed by the Kshatriyas, Vyshiyas and then the Shudras (typically the darkest of all) belong to the lowest class. The colors that go with these classes are white, red, yellow and black respectively.

For many years till today, this is identified and practiced as a social classification and these castes further have sub castes. It is extremely pathetic how the Varna described by our ancient saints and rishis have been misunderstood and incorrectly but diligently followed till this date.  

The oldest scriptures including the Vedas do not describe Varna as a social classification of grouping people based on their colors. Since everything is born from the divine and goes back into that, how can one group of people be greater than the other?

Those who came later, either misunderstood or squeezed in this principle of ‘social classification’ of Varna, for their own benefit or for some unknown mysterious reasons perhaps. Irrespective, it is high time now we break our ideas and beliefs regarding the Varna that is based on social classification and try to understand what it actually means.

The goal of the soul is to attain moksha. Technically this happens when the kundalini or the Sakthi energy rises up from the Muladhara chakra and reaches the Sahasrara chakra. This does not happen in one day. It is quite a process.

When we are born, this energy is typically in the Muladhara and the only focus then is to eat and sleep. This is what babies do. As we grow, if this energy rises to the next chakra, Swadishtana or the sex chakra, the focus is not just eating, but also in sex. This is when we have attraction towards the other sex, fall in love, get married and involve in reproduction activities. When the energy rises another level, to the Manipura chakra, the navel chakra, we start to get a bit spiritual. The energy thus goes through the Anahata, Vishudhi and to the Ajna chakra. This is the final stage before enlightenment. The next step is unification of this Sakthi energy with the Shiva energy in the Sahasrara. The highest state we can reach as humans is when the energy is in the Ajna chakra, (beyond this we dissolve).

The energy in Muladhara if not directed rightly, it is inertia. This is indicated by the color black. Astrologically this is the house of the Saturn energy (Capricorn and Aquarius). Saturn indicates black.

The energy in Swadishtana is creativity, sex, reproduction. Astrologically this is owned by Jupiter and is indicated by the color yellow. Jupiter owns Sagittarius and Pisces here.

The energy in Manipura is greed, jealousy, generosity, joy. This is indicated by the color red. Astrologically this is the house of the Mars energy (Aries, Scorpio). Mars indicates red.

The energy in the final 6th stage is in the Ajna, 3rd eye chakra. This is the seat of Moon and Sun (Cancer and Leo). These energies are luminaries (either has light of its own or reflects light). The Ajna chakra is the height of alertness.

Having said that, every person should strive to move this energy up from one level to the other, and to achieve the goal of the soul; to attain moksha. If the energy is stuck in the muladhara, the energy is in the lowest level, representing the black color. This person is referred to as Shudra, irrespective of which family the person is born in.

If the energy is stuck in the Swadishtana chakra, this person is referred to as Vyshya. This is represented by the yellow color.

If the energy is stuck in the Manipura chakra, this person is referred to as Kshatriya. This is represented by the red color.

If the energy reaches the Ajna chakra, the person is referred to as a Brahmin irrespective of the family the person is born in. This is the highest level. This is represented by the white color.

This is a transition from Tamas to Rajas to Satvic guna.

Thus low class and high class refer purely to the chakra where the energy is. Varna therefore does not indicate the social classification, but the spiritual growth of an individual. A person should transition from a Shudra to Vyshya to Kshatriya to a Brahmin. We all transition through these levels. These have nothing to do with our birth or skin color. No one is born Brahmin. The transition happens at different speeds in different individuals.

It is pathetic that we have failed to understand this, and therefore we have failed to focus and attend to our own spiritual growth.

Keep in mind that a significant majority of the 63 Nayanmars in Shaivism were not born in the so-called ‘Brahmin’ family, but were able to attain moksha. They are worshipped in all Shiva temples till today. They were able to focus on their energy and bring it up to the Ajna chakra and then all the way to the Sahasrara.

Similarly among all the 12 Azhwars in Vaisnavism, most were not born in the ‘Brahmin’ family.

It is now time to understand this and not segregate people on the skin color. Varna means your own chakra color where the Kundalini has risen up to at a given point in time.

Ashram

Ashram means the dwelling or station where we are staged at a given time. We go through 4 such stations in our lives namely Bramacharya, Grahastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasaa. These kind of give us an idea what these are about. Our childhood period until the age we are ready to get married is the Bramacharya station. The next is when we fall in love, get married, set up a family and bring up our children is Grahastha. All the running for the family is search of wealth happens this time. When our children settle in lives it is time for us to slowly focus on other aspects like spirituality and seva. We tend to look into ourselves. We slow down our running. This is Vanaprastha. In the modern day world, this is the time when we are in our mid 40s we try to look out for our old friends from school and college and connect with them through social medias. The next and the last station is when we retire from life, we renounce or try to. This is Sanyasaa.

In a typical person, it is the Brahmacharya station where the shakthi energy is in the muladhara. It rises up to the Swadishtana, the sex chakra in the Grahastha station. Then it moves to the Manipura chakra, where the focus is on wealth, desires, passion and growth. In the last station, Sanyasaa, the energy should be in the Ajna chakra, in the state of a Sadhu, ready to renounce everything and look out for moksha.

The varna ashrama is thus a two dimensional model that the Hindus defined, focusing on bringing up the Shakthi energy slowly up through the different stages of life, thus leading to moksha, which is the ultimate goal of the soul in Hinduism (not as a religion, but as a way of living).

 Dharma

This model does not look complete yet. Bringing up the energy through the different stages of life is fine, but what should we do at every stage of life to bring this energy up, in order to attain moksha? This is where the 4 purusharthas or the doctrines come into picture.

These are Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Many of us have heard these already. How do these contribute to the varna ashrama model?

Dharma means righteousness. It is that which can sustain and endure all throughout. The earth rotates on an orbit around the sun. Never does the earth come out of the orbit. A mango seed always gives a mango tree. These rules of nature can never go wrong anytime. This is what Dharma is. If human goes against the laws of nature, then nature has its own ways of replying back. We have seen that a lot. Your dharma is the purpose of this life.

Artha simply means acquisition. What you acquire; the things that you ask for. These days, even in vedic astrology, Artha is simply translated as money. Artha is not just money. It is all that you need, not just all that you want. It includes food, clothing, shelter, long life, good health, wealth, peace of mind, rain, agriculture, good education, good leadership, kingship, harmonious country, good friendship and so on. It is all that you acquire in this lifetime.

Kama means desires and enjoyment. It includes sex, but not just that. Enjoyment to the five senses. The desire to buy a LCD television and enjoying watching your favorite hero’s latest hit on this television is kama too.

Moksha is enlightenment. To reiterate, the goal of the soul is to attain enlightenment and anything done in Hinduism is ultimately to lead you to the path of enlightenment.

Dharma is the righteousness you follow in order to achieve the purpose of your life (based on the past karmas, you take this birth and every birth has a purpose)

Artha is all that you acquire to help achieve the purpose of your life. It is like setting the stage for the drama to happen.

Kama is acting up on this artha to fulfill the purpose of life; it is the actual acting on the stage.

If the first 3 principles are done rightly, then moksha will follow. You do not have to chase for it.

Without Dharma, if we only acquire and enjoy (artha and Kama), then it is done without a purpose. This is like a building without a basement. It will obviously topple.

In today’s fast moving world, the order is tossed and is the other way round. Instead of Dharma, Artha and Kama, it is Kama, Artha and Dharma. We get the desire, then do all that we can to acquire to fulfill the desire and if everything is ok, we try to be a little righteous. We get the desire to build a big bungalow on the most expensive beaches. We then do all that is needed (corruption or whatever) to acquire the money to build this house. Thus, killing the dharma. This is not fair. This is violating the laws of nature.  There is obviously no question of moksha here. Do we even care?

Bringing up the Shakthi energy from the Muladhara all the way up to the Ajna (transitioning from a Shudra to a Brahmin, from balck to white, Varna), through the various stations of life (ashrams) by following righteousness, not deviating from the laws of nature (Dharma) is Varnashrama Dharma!! Such beautiful knowledge this is!!

Astrologically, the 1st, 5th and 9th houses are dharma houses also known as trikona houses, or the houses of purpose. Also, astrologically, 1,4,7 and 10 houses are kendras or power houses, which are houses of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Though there are 3 houses for dharma, artha, kama and moksha respectively in a vedic astrology chart, the Kendra houses are the strongest.

We once again see how vedic astrology is not a separate aspect, but is a part of the Hindu living and is a guideline to help understand our energy distribution, identify the strong and weak energies so we can bring them up and focus on the purpose of our life, leading us to the path of moksha.

The ancient Tamil literature Thirukkural, the one of the greatest works ever written in any language, is structured into 3 sections Aram, Porul and Inbam meaning Dharma, Artha and Kama. It totally contains 1330 couplets called Kural, each kural with only exactly 7 words, tells us all that one should do as part of Dharma, Artha and Kama. Thirukkural does not talk about moksha, because once Dharma, Artha and Kama are done correctly, it leads to moksha on its own. Thus it is not a literature to be appreciated by only the Tamils, but it should be celebrated by the whole world since it talks about the universal truth in simple couplets to be understood and easily followed by all.

Varna ashrama Dharma in ancient scriptures, vedic astrology principles, Thirukkural all speak the same in different tones. They all lay the path to the ultimate goal.

It is time now for people to unlearn what they thought was varna ashrama dharma, and relearn the ancient knowledge.

Take pride in where your own energy is and work on uplifting it. We all want to rise up from a Shudra to a Brahmin. Don’t focus on the social classification and be stuck as a shudra forever. Mine is traveling from Vishudhi to Ajna chakra at this time. Where is yours?

 

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‘Super’ Super Moon

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Happy Supermoon-watching!!

Moon, Earth’s only natural satellite, orbits around the earth in about a month’s time. The moon’s orbit around the earth is kind of elliptical, with one side closer to the earth than the other. The point on the moon’s orbit that is closest to the Earth is called the Perigee and the point farthest away from the Earth is called the Apogee.

This means the Moon hits the Perigee and the Apogee once a month (once at the Perigee and once at the apogee). If it happens to be a full moon or a new moon at the Perigee, then it is called a Perigee Moon astronomically, and referred to as a Super Moon astrologically.

It is Super moon because it is at the closest to the Earth and it visually appears to be 14% larger in size and 30% more brighter than when it is at the apogee, the farthest from the earth.

Though there can be more than one occurrence of super moon in a year, the one happening on November 14th, 2016 is a ‘Super’ super moon, given that it is at the closest to the earth in the past 60 plus years. Given the fact that the moon and the earth both rotate, and the moon is in synchronous rotation with the Earth, though in Perigee, the closest distance will vary. This super moon on November 14th is that closest one, making it the ‘Super’ super moon in the last few decades.

Let’s get to it astrologically. Why is it the extra super moon this time?

The Super moon tonight (November 14th, 2016) is a bright large full moon in Krithika nakshatra, in Rishaba (Taurus). The moon is exalted at 3 degrees Taurus and moolatrikona in Taurus. The moon represents water and Taurus (bull) is earth, a fixed sign. Water flowing on earth obviously makes it fertile. Exalted moon in Taurus brings out the best of qualities.

Krithika represents agni, fire. It also means the water (moon) in fire (Krithika) coming together on the earth (Taurus), fixed sign. The tsunami warnings and earthquake in New Zealand today could be a sign of this. Some could have water dehydration / stomach issues (fire, water) today. Should become better in a day or so.

We know we are made of 70% water. We also know that the Moon has great influence on water. Meditating on this Super full moon day will greatly help!!

 

 

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Significance of Lord Muruga – a different perspective

m6 Pic courtesy: Rani Muthu

The goal of the soul is to attain enlightenment. By all ways and means the soul tries to achieve this enlightenment or moksha sooner or later. Most practices, rituals, mantras and traditions in Hinduism have always aimed at attaining this.

Quantum physics spent all these years studying matter only to derive at the fact that matter does not exist and everything is a wave, in the energy form. This is what spirituality has been emphasizing all throughout that everything is energy.

Everything in this universe is made up of energies. You, me, our computers, the food we eat, our accessories, birds, plants, trees, earth, Moon, Sun and all planets, all that we see and touch and feel are all energies.

Thus, it is right by all means to say that humans are a miniature of this universe. Whatever happens in the universe in a mega scale, happens in us in a diminutive scale. The part reflects the whole. The microcosm reflects the macrocosm. Human beings reflect the cosmos.

Religion, as we know, is the path we undertook to lead us to the Home. It is the path that we sought to lead us to enlightenment. Every God created and worshipped in Hinduism is nothing but the energy form, that in one way or the other helps achieve our goal in attaining this moksha or nirvana.

Let’s understand Shiva and Sakthi before Muruga… after all He is Son of Theirs.  

Shiva

When you say ‘not this, not this, not this’ and discard everything, what remains that is Shiva tatva. Confusing isn’t it? Let me make it simple.

We know that we are not the body, not the mind, not the memory, not the ego, not the emotions. We are the soul or the atma, otherwise called the consciousness. The consciousness is Shiva.

Atma only is Shiva. It is the masculine principle. Shiva is the meditative aspect of the entire universe. He pervades the entire universe. He has no form, but is in every form. Shiva is peace, infinity, beauty and the non-dual one. Shiva is eternal. This higher consciousness that is pure is the same consciousness that is present in every living being in this creation. Yes, it is the same consciousness that is in us.

Shiva is the lord of dissolution. Anything that dissolves, goes into space. This is Shiva tatva.

Sakthi

As the name indicates, Sakthi is the activating power and energy. It is the female principle. It is the nature. It is the primordial cause of the material world. From this Sakthi evolves all other elements. The body, mind, emotions, thoughts, ego are all interrelated parts of Sakthi. She is the material cause of the universe.

Sakthi is not conscious in itself. It is latent. Sakthi and its manifestation exists to provide experience to the soul or consciousness so that the consciousness can gain mastery over the external factors and come to an understanding of the true nature.

Shiva and Sakthi cannot exist without each other in this earthly world. Until Sakthi or energy is impregnated with consciousness, Sakthi is ignorant, distorted and blind. Energy alone cannot produce anything. Shiva or consciousness gives Sakthi the direction. Vice versa, Shiva or consciousness, without Sakthi or energy, is dormant and cannot do anything on its own. It needs energy. In Tamil there is a saying ‘சக்தி இல்லையேல் சிவன் இல்லை, சிவன் இல்லையேல் சக்தி இல்லை. This means there is no Sakthi without Shiva and no Shiva without Sakthi.

Chakras

We all know the gross body, the body which we can touch and feel. The subtle body is the other body that we cannot see, that which carries our mind, our impressions a.k.a. Karma. Then, there is the causal body which is the consciousness, atma or the soul.

In the sleeping state, when we sleep, the physical body is at rest. In the dreaming state, the subtle body is active and that is why we get dreams (dreams from the impressions in the mind). In deep sleep, both the physical and subtle bodies go to sleep but the causal body is still awake and aware.

 The prana or life force energy flows through the subtle body through channels called naadiis. These energy channels or naadiis have energy points at various locations called the chakras. The chakras are cone shaped (triangle with circle at the mouth). The Chakras are signified as lotuses with few or more petals (the base chakra has few petals and the number of petals increases from the base to the sahasrara). The one energy as it flows through the various chakras manifests in different forms. There are several chakras in our body, but 7 chakras are the most important.

1. Muladhaara or Basic Chakra – this chakra is at the base of the spine. If the prana is high, the energy here manifests as enthusiasm and if the prana is low, the energy here manifests as inertia.

2. Swadisthana or Sex Chakra – the same energy from the Basic chakra flows through this chakra. It is 4 inches above the base of the spine. Energy manifests here as lust or creativity.

3. Manipura or Naval Chakra – this is in the naval area. The energy manifests here as greed and jealousy or generosity and joy. That is why all these emotions are depicted with the tummy. Lord Ganesha is depicted with a big tummy to indicate generosity. It is the same with laughing Buddha and Santa Claus.

4. Anahata or Heart Chakra – This is located in the center of the chest. Energy here manifests as love, hatred or fear. Only one of these emotions exist at a given time. For example, when there is love, there is no fear or hatred.

5. Vishuddha or Throat chakra – Energy here manifests as grief or gratitude. We have seen that both during grief and gratitude our throat chokes.

6. Ajna or Third Eye chakra – Energy here manifests as anger or alertness.

7. Sahasrara or Crown Chakra – Energy here manifests as sheer bliss.

Now that we have an idea of the different chakras and the emotions associated to these, let’s move on to connecting all that we saw above.

As we saw earlier, the Sakthi or energy is not conscious without Shiva. This unconscious latent energy called the Kudalini is dormant at the base of the spine (Muladaara or Basic Chakra)

On the other hand, Shiva or the consciousness is at the crown of the head (Sahasrara or Crown Chakra).

If the person is low in prana or life force energy, then, as we saw above, the energy shows in the Basic chakra as inertia. This inertia prohibits the Sakthi energy to rise up and unite with the Shiva or consciousness in the crown or Sahasrara chakra.

When the Sakthi arises and united with Shiva, that is called liberation or nirvana or enlightenment. There is no more duality, only absolute oneness, the two merging into one. Once this is achieved, then there is nothing else but bliss and unconditional love. This is what all the souls are longing for.

Muruga

In puranas, lord Muruga is born from the fire from Shiva’s third eye. This divine fire settled in six lotuses and was brought up by the six angels called Kaarthigaas. After he grows up he is handed over to Parvathi and united into one single boy. This boy then goes out to kill Surapadhma, the Asura who has all along been torturing the devas.  He does this with the help of The Vel. This is called Surasamhaara.

Most of us know this as a story. Now here’s the story decoded.

Lord Muruga is that energy which helps us in attaining the moksha. That energy which helps unite the Kundalini Sakthi with Shiva, the higher consciousness, the child uniting the parents.

This is the energy distributed and traveling across the six chakras in us, from the Mooladhara through the Ajna chakra (Mooladhara, Swadishtana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishudda and Ajna).

Chakras are indicated as lotuses with few to many petals. The 6 chakras are the 6 lotuses.

Asuras are not rakshashas residing elsewhere. These are those attributes in us that cause problems or are hindrances to our spiritual growth. These attributes inflict those spiritual characteristics in us that help in our growth. These spiritual characteristics are called the Devas.

Now, here, the Asura Surabadhmaa, is the ego in us that prohibits us from going into the path of enlightenment. The ego is the “I” that separates itself from the Divine. This is what causes us to think that there are “Two”. That which makes us think that the “I “and The Divine are two different things. Once the ego dissolves, the “I” dissolves, and we realize we are no more two, but One. The maya or the illusion that projected the One as Two different entities, now dissolves. This realization and dissolving is Moksha.

Through devotion, sadhanas, meditation, knowledge and seva, the energy distributed in the 6 chakras, unites into one single energy (Lord Muruga) on the Sahasrara, and destroys the asura (the ego) that was preventing us all these days from attaining the moksha. This energy helps unite the Sakthi energy with the Shiva energy called Moksha.

The Sahasrara on the head is the peak otherwise referred to as the hill. The Muruga energy uniting into one and rising up to the top of the hill is the reason why we see Lord Muruga temples on hills. In Tamil there’s a saying குன்று இருக்கும் இடம் எல்லாம் குமரன் இருக்கும் இடம்”, meaning wherever there is a hill, Murugan a.k.a Kumaran will be there. This does not literally mean hill. It indicates that all human beings will eventually attain enlightenment as the Muruga energy unites into one single energy at the Sahasrara (at the peak or the hill).

This Muruga energy that extends from the base to head, touches the Kundalini Sakthi in the base and the Shiva energy in the head. It touches both the energies. It is thus referred to as the son of Sakthi and Shiva.

Also, it touches the Ichcha Sakthi on top, the energy of our intention and the Kriya Sakthi at the base, the energy of manifestation. The formless to the form. The intention to manifestation. These energies are feminine energies. In stories these are referred to as Devasena and Valli, indicating that Muruga married them both. Here marriage means association with the two feminine energies.

Many argue that lord Muruga has two wives. Unfortunately we do not know how to decode the stories.

The six abodes of Lord Muruga, namely Thiruparangkundram, Thiruthani, Pazhani, Thiruchendur, Swamimalai and Pazhamudhir solai refer to the six chakras from Mooladhara to Ajna.

Sa Ra Va Na Bha Va is the six letter mantra of Lord Muruga.

Muruga preaching The Pranava mantra “OM” to Shiva only means that the soul knows who it is and the realization of the OM while uniting with Shiva is indicative of this.

Vel by itself has great significance. It is triangular in shape and points upward. A triangle is formed by joining three points, two at the base and one on top right? The two at the base indicates the duality we live in (Shiva and Sakthi a.k.a Purusha and Prakriti) and the union of these two into one is the one point on the top of the triangle.

This union signified by the Vel indicates Moksha. The Vel can thus unite the two to one and release us from the maya of duality. In Surasamhara, Muruga uses the Vel to kill Surapadma, the ego, thus releasing the devas, leading us to enlightenment.

The story of Surasamhara, where Lord Muruga kills Surapadhma is said to have happened in the month of Aippasi (between October and November).

If we analyze the festivals closely, The Asura Mahishasura (inertia) is killed during the period of Navarathri, which occurs during the first to mid part of October. Asura Narakasura (greed) is killed during the period of Deepavali, which occurs during the latter part of October. Asura Surapadhma (ego) is killed during the Surasamhara, which occurs during the first to mid part of November.

This is the autumn season, when the trees shed the old leaves in order to get new ones in spring. Animals get ready to hibernate to rejuvenate fresh in spring. This is the time of the year for us to get rid of the asura attributes like inertia, greed, ego and increase the prana to lead towards liberation which is the ultimate goal of the soul.

Many religious stories and even theories have been encoded. Passwords encoded have to be decoded for validity. Encoding was perhaps done for a cause, but passwords if not decoded, can lock us out!! 

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The God Particle

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As a child in school, I remember studying the atomic structure, where the protons and neutrons occupied the center (nucleus) and were orbited by the electrons. This was Rutherford’s nuclear (planetary) model and Neil Bohr’s. This rings a bell, right?

As per that, a vast majority of the mass of an atom was packed in the nucleus. The orbiting electrons were said to carry no mass.

For many years scientists studied matter, only to find out today that matter in fact does not exist and are actually waves (energy).

Today they say that our physical reality isn’t really physical at all (that which spirituality kept saying for ages)… quite a discovery in quantum physics.

This means that all physical entities in the universe are made up of only waves, or energies. This also means that what seems real is not actually real. Isn’t this what we refer to as “Maya” in spirituality? Perhaps. Something that seems to be tangible to the five senses but is actually not. Wow!!

An atom was once believed to be the smallest particle. Today, particle physics talks about subatomic particles, including the recent addition called the Higgs Boson, otherwise referred to as the “God particle”. Though the Higgs Boson is said to have non-zero mass, it decays into other particles almost immediately.

The Higgs Boson passes through an energy field called the Higgs Field. Scientists think this Higgs field exists throughout the universe, anywhere and everywhere. Since it exists everywhere, all particles must pass through it, and as they pass through this field they are given mass. The mass is not generated by the Higgs field itself, but the mass is given to the particles from the Higgs field via the Higgs Bosons. Once the field has passed on the mass to the massless particle, the particle slows down as it is now heavier. If not for the Higgs field, all particles will be massless, will not be able to attract each other and will hence float around at the speed of light. There would be no gravity too. So, no you and no me. Can’t imagine that, right?

If Higgs field is everywhere in the universe,  it means it is all permeating. It is omnipresent.

In spirituality, we talk about the whole universe being made up of the consciousness. Everything in this universe is the play and display of this consciousness. This is That from which everything is made. Everything is born from That and dissolves into that. It is the infinity. It is all permeating and is neither born nor will it die. That which has no gender. That which is neither He nor She. It is a field. It is what we call “The Brahman“. It is what we call “The God“. It is the higher consciousness; it is that we call as Shiva. This is the Brahman principle. This is the Shiva Tatva (“Shi-va” means “that which is not”).

Is the Higgs field the ultimate one? Or, are the scientists yet to find that Brahman field / principle? Maybe or maybe not. Their journey continues. 

For a spiritualist, seeing the Brahman principle, becoming one with the higher consciousness, one with Shiva is not too far.

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Mars Saturn conjunction in Scorpio ends

After the prolonged wait, Mars Saturn alliance in Scorpio (7 month period) is officially over on September 18th. This is a good news indeed.

Mars is the planet of desires, courage, passion, enthusiasm, aggression, and anger. Mars is malefic and represents fire.

Regarding occupation, Mars represents soldiers, police, military, surgeons, engineers, builders, sportsmen / women.

So, how is Mars in Scorpio?

Scorpio is Mars’s own sign, the other being Aries. Scorpio is an emotional water sign. Mars in Scorpio makes it emotional.  The fire heats up the water.

Mars in Scorpio – revenge is long lasting. One can run a car over you even after 3 years with a long lasting revenge J.

Saturn is in Scorpio since November 2014. Saturn is a slow moving planet and takes about 2 ½ years to move from one house to the other. Saturn indicates Discipline, democratic, teacher, responsibilities, organized skills, focus, detachment, depression, longevity, reality, labor, hard work, mining, rocks, bone.

So what is it for Mars to join hands with Saturn in Scorpio?

Simple. Mars takes over Saturn’s energy, since Mars is the ruler of Scorpio.

To recall, some of the major events during this 7 month period

Equador, Italy, Japan earth quakes

Britain Exit EU after referendum

Several clashes between countries

Flight crashes, Airport attacks

Rio Olympics

Successful nuclear tests, rocket launches

Challenges to democracy in countries

Death of Muhammed Ali

Cavery dispute and revolt (burning buses, self immolation)

Electrocution

Indian Soldiers killed at Uri Cantonment

And the list can on… leave it for you to research and analyze.

All these events are in one way or the other related to fire, military, police, sports (all of these represent Mars), democracy issues (Mars Saturn association). Mars has used all of Saturn’s energy along with its own during this period.

Individually, based on which house Scorpio represents in one’s chart, the implications vary. For example, if Scorpio was the 7th house in an individual’s chart, there could have been issues with relationships (anger, fight). Overall, individuals would have undergone gastro intestinal issues such as indigestion, food poisoning. Other implications could be bone issues such as arthritis or issues such as ligament tear, fracture or a simple sprain. Some might have also had teeth issues.

 So, is Mars Saturn association always bad?

Well, Mars and Saturn are malefics, however, if Saturn and Mars are good in one’s chart, the effects are beneficial too. With the passion from Mars and focus from Saturn, this period could have been great for individuals to achieve their goals. Many would have experienced this too.

There were several successful rocket launches that we saw and some interesting sports events like Rio Olympics that we enjoyed!!

This is all based on my observation and analysis. Quite interesting though.

As I always say, honor time and yes, chant Om Namah Shivaya to overcome planetary challenges!!

 

 

 

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Significance of Lord Ayappa’s birth and worship

Significance of Lord Ayappa’s birth and worship – Significance of Liberation??

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For those of you who know me, and know me well, you know that Ayappa is my buzzword!! A maniac or extremist you might call me, but just eccentric in his presence. The ecstasy is boundless and I am truly blessed to have been soaked in this bliss and jubilation from my childhood. My interactions with him are more conversational than prayers. Yes, I grew up in this ambience. I remember seeing my grandmother more in her black sarees and thulasi malai than anything else. For us, it was more of a tradition, a family practice than a periodic worship.

As I grew up, my analytical mind starting questioning the practice norms. With years, my conversations with him, my devotion, and my miracles continued and my questions continued too.

Questions are good. Questions took human evolution from one level to the next. Questions in scientists help lead to great discoveries. Newton’s question helped reveal gravity. The question ‘Who Am I’ is the very basis of spirituality. So, questions are good.  A seeker always has questions and the answers come at the right time. A Scientist is a seeker and a Spiritualist is a seeker too.

When the question unfolds with the answer, when the puzzle pieces come together, the joy is unfathomable.

Let’s try unfolding one question at a time.

As per Ayappa’s story, He is born to Shiva and Vishnu in Mohini form. A child born to Shiva and Vishnu? Yes, I had the same question like many.

Shiva Tatva

When you say ‘not this, not this, not this’ and discard everything, what remains that is Shiva Tatva.

We know that we are not the body, not the mind, not the memory, not the ego, not the emotions. We are the soul or the atma, otherwise called the consciousness. The consciousness is Shiva. That is what is Shiva Tatva.

Atma only is Shiva. It is the masculine principle. Shiva is the meditative aspect of the entire universe. He pervades the entire universe. He has no form, but is in every form. Shiva is peace, infinity, beauty and the non-dual one. Shiva is eternal. This higher consciousness is Shiva and is the same consciousness that is present in every living being in this creation. Yes, it is the same consciousness that is in us.

What is Shakti?

As the name indicates, Sakthi is the activating power and energy. It is the female principle. It is the Maha Prakriti. It is the nature.  It is the primordial cause of the material world. From this Sakthi evolve all other elements. The body, mind, emotions, thoughts, ego are all interrelated parts of Sakthi. These are all born from her. She is the material cause of the universe.

Sakthi is not conscious in itself. It is latent. Sakthi and its manifestation exists to provide experience to the soul or consciousness so that the consciousness can gain mastery over the external factors and come to an understanding of the true nature.

Shiva and Sakthi cannot exist without each other in this earthly world. Until Sakthi or energy is impregnated with consciousness, Sakthi is ignorant, distorted and blind. Energy alone cannot produce anything. Shiva or consciousness gives Sakthi the direction. Vice versa, Shiva or consciousness without Sakthi or energy is dormant and cannot do anything on its own. It needs energy.

The masculine manifestation of Sakthi energy is Vishnu. So, Sakthi and Vishnu are the same energies manifesting as feminine and masculine principles respectively. That is why in Hinduism, Parvathi, the Sakthi energy is considered as Vishnu’s sister. Same energy, but different forms.

Like Sakthi energy, which helps in life sustenance on this earth, Vishnu is considered the sustainer, the operator of life on this earth, after all it is the two versions of the same energy. The two sides of the same coin.

As we saw earlier, Sakthi is not conscious without Shiva. This unconscious latent energy called the Kudalini is dormant at the base of the spine (Muladara or Basic Chakra)

On the other hand, Shiva or the consciousness is at the crown of the head (Sahasrara or Crown Chakra).

When the Sakthi arises and united with Shiva, that is called liberation or nirvana or enlightenment or moksha. There is no more duality, only absolute oneness, the two merging into one. Once this is achieved, then there is nothing else but bliss and unconditional love.

Lord Ayappa’s birth gloriously signifies the birth of the enlightened from the unification of the Shiva and Sakthi energies.  That born from the unification of Purusha and Prakriti. After all, Vishnu in Mohini form is Sakthi isn’t it?

Sakthi / Prakriti, is composed of three qualities or Gunas. These are Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. These are the prime qualities that help the Sakthi energy to diversify and function in this earthly world.

All objects in this world are the combinations of the three gunas. Sattva is the quality of being stable and in harmony. Rajas is the quality of distraction and activity and Tamas is the quality of dullness, darkness and inertia.

Lord Ayappa killing Mahishi, the buffalo, does not literally mean slaughtering the buffalo.  Buffalo here means inertia and killing the inertia or dullness is the first step towards enlightenment. Tamas means decay, degeneration and is the principle of materiality. The Basic or Root or Muladara chakra is where the inertia lies and this chakra roots one to the earthly living. So, Mahishi Marthana means killing the tamas and awaking the Sattva in us.

Ayappa Worship and processes followed

The worship of Ayappa and the course followed through the mandala period to visit him at the Sabarimalai during the month of Makara has a noble significance too.

Lord Ayappa is said to have attained enlightenment at the age of 12. Why mandala vritha, why irumudi, why diet, why black attire, why Makara poojai, why 18 steps and so on… curious aren’t you?

The entire process of Ayappa worship for one mandala and visiting him on Sabarimalai is the complete process that one should actually go through to attain liberation or enlightenment. That’s the whole purpose of making someone go through the worship process. Actions repeated many times become habits, don’t they? Today, are we doing it with awareness is a question though.

We know the technical aspects of liberation, when the Sakthi energy rises up and comes in union with the Shiva energy in our Crown chakra…very technical isn’t it? In order for this to happen, the chakras should be in harmony and the channels connecting the chakras should be free of energy blocks thus enabling the energy to rise up and travel upwards.

We have been through so many births and we carry a huge load of accumulated garbage… takes a while to clear up this block…no kidding.

In fact this is what meditation does. It helps in clearing up this garbage. However, one should be satvic even for meditation to happen. Otherwise we just sit there with eyes closed for hours… been there seen that right?

So how does one become Satvic? Food plays a major role in affecting the 3 gunas. For example, stale food can make one tamas, highly spicy food can make one rajas. So, during the mandala vritha for lord Ayappa, one is asked to eat freshly cooked satvic food. Also, food should be vegetarian, because eating meat makes one tamas. ‘No meat’, not just because we are killing animals, but just that meat takes more time to digest (human system is not made to digest meat). It takes up to 72 hours to digest meat and the food sitting for a long time is stale food, either inside or outside.

Giving rest to our five sense organs is also another process of taking us inward. For example, watching a movie also makes one tamas after the 3 hours of watching. The sense organs become so tired. Try inhaling the perfume you like the best. After few minutes your nose is tired of the smell that you loved the most.

In general, all pleasure seeking activities that take your focus outward and keep you off balance are avoided during this period of time.

Satsangs are a great way to bring the mind to the center. Ayappa bajans are well-known for that. Group chanting and singing are very effective.

Here’s a secret. Taking bath in cold water activates the chakras and increases our alertness.

Need to talk a little about colors here. Why the shirt you wear is green or red or whatever? Why do we see colors?

When the object holds on to all other colors and reflects that one color, it shows up as that color it is reflecting. For example, the shirt you are wearing is red because it holds on to all other colors and reflects red. Right? We know this.

Bottom line, anything we reflect or give away, that is what we are. A black color holds on to everything and does not give away any color. It signifies the human being and the desires and cravings we hold on to in our lives. An ordinary person with desires and cravings and seeking pleasure is holding on to so many things in life. He goes through the entire process during the mandala period with black clothes to signify this.

Here’s another secret. That is why yogis prefer to wear white clothes, as they do not want to hold on to anything, even the colors. White color reflects all colors. It does not hold on to any color.

Why mandala and what is it?

A mandala period is anywhere between 40 to 48 days. The human body goes through a specific cycle physiologically every 40 to 48 days. Any kind of practice if done for one mandala period seeps into the system and becomes effective. It thus becomes a habit. All sadhanas are said to be practiced for 48 days so it becomes a habit. Even in Ayurveda, a medicine is asked to be taken for one mandala for it to work effectively.

Technically, a moon’s cycle from one full moon to the other is about 29 days; plus 11 days (Ekadashi) is a mandala. Moon is always considered to play a major role in causing changes at the emotional as well as the physiological level.  The moon represents the mind (and this is a subject of study by itself). Yes, a women’s menstural cycle is in sync with the moon’s cycle to go from full moon to new moon and back. (This is a separate topic for discussion and correlates so much astrologically).

Ghee and coconut in irumudi

We know that the physical body is mortal and will perish whereas the soul inside is immortal and will never die. The coconut with a hard shell outside and that which decays inside represents the physical body and the ghee (which never is spoilt) represents the soul. Once the devotee reaches Sabarimalai, this ghee is poured on to lord Ayappa, meaning the devotee’s soul or atma reaches the enlightened above when one leads a satvic life and does all that is needed to (a snapshot of that shown is in the practices during the mandala period).

The path to Sabaramalai, at least in those days was not so easy…called periya pathai. It involved walking through dense forests, trekking hilly regions to reach the sannidhanam. So is the path of liberation. Looks tough isn’t it? But now, Sabarimalai can be reached quickly from Bamba and thus is the path of liberation. Not as tough as we think it is. Want to give the enlightenment process a try?

Irumudi

It is logical for people walking through the forests and hills, to carry their personal belongings separately from the coconut and ghee that was taken as offering to the lord. It made sense to carry it on their heads so hands are free to climb hills.

Some say that it symbolically indicates the good and bad karma luggage we carry with us as we go through our lives towards our path of liberation.

Both makes sense.

18 steps

The Sakthi / Prakriti is made up of the 3 gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.

The tanmantras (from Sattva), are the subtlest form of elements, which are the objects of the 5 sense organs. These are smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing.

The five sense organs (Rajas), these tanmantras correspond to are nose, tongue, eyes, skin and ears.

The five elements (Tamas), which correspond to the five sense organs are Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. These are at the gross level.

The human being travel is from gross, to subtle and to the subtlest right?

The 18 steps corresponds to the 3 gunas and the 15 attributes that go with these.

We start at the gross level, tamas, overcome the tamasic nature, then step up to the Rajas nature, overcome this to move up to the Satvic nature. Reaching here, on the 18th step we see Ayappa’s darshan, indicating enlightenment, reaching the abode of lord Ayappa (in other words the Sakthi energy uniting with Shiva in the Sahasrara or the crown chakra).

The table below elaborates this.

No. Chakra Element Tanmantra Sense Organ
1. Root Chakra (Mooladhara) Earth Smell Nose
2. Sex Chakra (Swadishtana) Water Taste Tongue
3. Naval Chakra (Manipura) Fire Sight Eyes
4. Heart Chakra (Anahata) Air Touch Skin
5. Throat Chakra (Vishudhi) Ether Hearing Ears

 

We see how the 5 chakras relate to these attributes at the gross, subtle and causal levels.

Thus we see how the 18 steps take us from the gross level to the subtlest form. The 18th step is Satvic, the pure form in complete harmony, light, luminous and centered. Isn’t this the right state to become enlightened?

Lord Ayappa’s worship process all makes sense now isn’t it?

Yet another question that bothers many of us, especially women. Yes you got it.

Why is Sabarimalai open only to men and not women?

First of all, visiting Sabarimalai is open to all. It is not restricted to women. However, reaching lord Ayappa by climbing the 18 steps is not allowed. So, why is that?

At a superficial level, yes, it definitely makes women furious and wonder why.

During the menstrual period in a woman, a significant amount of energy in her body is working in the downward direction towards the reproductive organs.

Temples are places loaded with cosmic energy (not sure about newly established temples though). When soaked in this cosmic energy, ones energy within the body is forced to rise in upward direction.

When a women during her menstrual period goes to a temple, then there is a force that is pulling her energy to rise up, whereas due to physiological changes happening currently, there is a demand for the energy to flow in the downward direction. This confusion hinders the regular functioning of the body and may impact the functioning of the reproductive organs.

The 18 steps are highly powerful with mantra chanting and prayers. This is why women are not allowed to climb up the 18 steps from puberty till menopause. I do not see women suppression here, however, it would have made more sense if we all (including men) were made to understand the rationale behind this so women got their due respect.  Salute to thyself…Women!!

Lord Ayappa in Chin Mudra

We see lord Ayappa in meditative pose with one hand in Chin Mudra. The Chin Mudra is the yogic gesture that represents the unified nature of the soul with the higher consciousness… the coming together of the Prana vayu with the Udana vayu in us, represented by the thumb and the index finger (This is another great study in Ayurveda).

Adding to all these, every Ayappa devotee is called ‘Swamy’, to indicate God is in you and in me, in everyone. The journey towards moksha will help us realize this.

Swamiye Saranam Ayappa!!

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Karma

Karma

Karma is the most commonly used and misused word in the recent days. Many of us fear karma. So what is this karma?

Karma literally means action. This action can be something happening now, or a latent action sitting in the form of impressions in the mind, waiting to manifest. The impression in the mind will manifest into an action at some point. This is what karma is. Simple isn’t it?

A simple example is that you want to sow a mango seed in your garden tomorrow. This is a latent action, something that will happen tomorrow, a future happening. Today, you are actually sowing the mango seed in your garden. Both are karmas, the first one is waiting to manifest and the second one manifesting now (the action is already happening).

If the impression is strong in the mind, then it might turn into a habit or addiction.

Does this mean there are different types of Karmas?

Yes there are 3 types of karmas, Prarabdha Karma, Sanchitha Karma and Aagama Karma. For some of us, these terms sound familiar right?

Prarabdha karma is the one that is manifest now. The action is already happening now. You are reading this article now. This is prarabdha karma. Yesterday you wanted to read this article. Today, you are actually reading it.

The impression in the mind that is a latent action, which is yet to manifest is Sanchitha Karma. The impression is already set in the mind. There will be a time when this latent karma will manifest. This is Sanchitha Karma. Often when we undergo difficulties, we tend to ask why? Why does bad things happen to good people? Yes we are good today, but we do not know or remember what we did yesterday. What we sow, we reap.

The impression that will form in our mind in future is Aagama Karma. You might get a desire tomorrow to buy a Dachshund, about which You have no clue today. This future impression (which you do not know anything about today, but will get created based on your future desires, hatred, craving or whatever) is Aagama Karma.

So, can we overcome Karma?

No we cannot, but yes we can!! Sounds ridiculous isn’t it?

Well, Karma as I said is an impression in the mind, but is written on water, not a set in stone that cannot be erased. From this perspective, yes it can be erased. However, not all types of karmas can be erased.

From the 3 types of karmas we saw above, Sanchitha Karma is an impression that is already created in the mind but yet to be manifested. This can be erased through knowledge, awareness, services, spiritual practices, prayers and most of all by meditation.

Aagama Karma as we see above, is an impression that is not yet formed in the mind. So, apparently it is in our hands. If you are going to eat a plate full of spicy hot biriyani or 20 ladoos, then you know for sure you are going to get a tummy ache. Whether to eat or not is your decision. With awareness we can avoid Aagama Karma right?

However, Prarabdha Karma is the one that is manifested now. The one whose fruits you are reaping currently. Can you go back? Obviously ‘no’. Prarabdha Karma or the one that is manifested now cannot be erased or taken back. It has to be undergone.

For those who have heard the Lingastakam song, there is a line which states ‘Sanchitha paapa vinaashana Lingam’. Now we know why only Sanchitha Karma can be erased and not Prarabdha Karma 🙂.

So what does a wise do? Before a Sanchitha Karma transforms to a Prarabdha Karma (before the impression manifests into action), a wise will erase the Sanchitha Karma through different ways mentioned above.

How do we know which karma yields what?

The rules of Karma are unfathomable (in the words of my Master). Yes, it is hard to say which karma yields what.

When does an impression manifest into action?

In other words, when does a Sanchitha Karma manifest into a Prarabdha Karma? Today or tomorrow or after a year or only in the next birth? It truly depends right? If you put your finger in the fire, you feel the burning and pain immediately. Whereas, if you sow a mango seed, it takes several years to enjoy a mango from the tree. Again rules of Karma are unfathomable. It is all a mystery.

By the way, Karma means both good and bad .. lol!!

I think so much is sufficient to know about Karma in this article. Based on requests, I will publish my next article on the continuation of Karma, how Karma is related to rebirth, animals and karma, free will and other related topics.

Please feel free to post your comments, questions and feedback regarding this article.

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Maha Shivarathri

4

Maha Shivarathri

Among all the twelve Shivarathris that occur in a year, Maha Shivarathri is the most significant and the most auspicious one. This is celebrated as the night when Lord Shiva is married to Goddess Parvathi. This sounds more religious isn’t it? Religious stories always have a spiritual reasoning behind them. So what’s spiritual about Shivarathri? Let’s see.

Maha Shivarathri is celebrated throughout India for many years, on the 14th night of the lunar month, which falls mostly in the month of Maasi in Tamil. This is the last month in the Hindu calendar and falls sometime in February – March in the Gregorian calendar. This marks the beginning of spring, when everything comes back to life, trees get fresh leaves, flowers bloom, and hibernating animals come back to normal life.

Spring means rebirth, rejuvenation, resurrection and regrowth.

A lunar month is the number of days from the full moon to the next new moon. The 14th night of the lunar month, a day before new moon, is the darkest night in the month. So, Shivarathri is celebrated during the darkest night of the month.. but why so? Will see later in this article.

What is Shivarathri all about and why among all Shivarathris, this one is the Maha Shivarathri, the most auspicious one?

From childhood, many of us have celebrated Shivarathri with our families. We try to be awake all night, playing games, chitchatting while some elders chant mantras and do poojas. This used to be fun, but as we grew up, we became so caught up in the worldly activities, got busy with our studies, job and children, that we hardly celebrate or even remember the Maha Shivarathri. We are busy running the ‘catch up marathon’ for reasons we don’t know. Man, we are so busy!!

To reiterate, Maha Shivarathri is celebrated as the night when Lord Shiva is married to Goddess Parvathi, when Shiva meets Shakti.

First of all, who is Shiva or what is Shiva Tatva?

When you say ‘not this, not this, not this’ and discard everything, what remains that is Shiva tatva.
We know that we are not the body, not the mind, not the memory, not the ego, not the emotion.. we are the soul or the atma, otherwise called the consciousness. The consciousness is Shiva. That’s what Shiva tatva is.

Atma only is Shiva. It is the masculine principle. Shiva is the meditative aspect of the entire universe. He pervades the entire universe. He has no form, but is in every form. Shiva is peace, infinity, beauty and the non-dual one. Shiva is eternal. This higher consciousness that is pure is the same consciousness that is present in every living being in this creation. Yes, it is the same consciousness that is in us.

Picture speaks louder than words right? So, we, human beings gave a form to this higher consciousness, Shiva.

Do you know we also worhsip Shiva formless? Yes, this is the Shiva Lingam. Shiva is worshipped as Shiva Lingam too which means the formless, the aroopam (no form).

Now, who is Parvathi, Shakti or Shakti energy?

As the name indicates, Sakthi is the activating power and energy. It is female principle. It is nature. It is the primordial cause of the material world. From this Sakthi evolve all other elements. The body, mind, emotions, thoughts, ego are all interrelated parts of Sakthi. She is the material cause of the universe.
Sakthi is not conscious in itself. It is latent. Sakthi and its manifestation exists to provide experience to the soul or consciousness so that the consciousness can gain mastery over the external factors and come to an understanding of the true nature.

So, Shiva is the all-pervading consciousness which is the masculine principle and Shakti is the energy that roots us and through which we function in this earthly world. This is the female principle.

What is Maha Shivarathri?

The consciousness which is always 10 inches above the material ground, touches the earth element on the day of Shivarathri.

In other words, Shiva unites with Shakti… the night when Lord Shiva is married to Goddess Parvathi. Now it all makes sense right?It is the night when Shiva, the masculine principle unites with Shakti, the feminine principle.

In other words, today is the true Valentine’s day .. when unity happens, love happens, resurrection happens, rejuvenation happens!! 

It is full of bliss and happiness today. What do we do when we are at the height of happiness? We dance right? So, Shiva does Ananda Tandava today.

On this auspicious night, let’s chant ‘Om Nama Shivaya’, meditate, sing, dance and celebrate. Let’s pray for peace and happiness to pervade the entire universe. Let all living beings be happy.

Shiva is the omnipresent consciousness which pervades everywhere. Darkness pervades everywhere. Creation happens in the dark. On this darkest night of the month, is when the all-pervading Shiva unites Shakti. This is the beginning of rebirth, rejuvenation, resurrection and regrowth.

Happy Maha Shivarathri to everyone!!

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Significance of Navarathri – a different perspective

Significance of Navarathri

Navarathri is one of those few festivals celebrated throughout India in many states in many forms. In the south, in Tamil Nadu, Navarathri is celebrated with golu, where idols of goddesses and other dolls of significance are setup in steps and worshipped for nine nights. In Karnataka, this period is celebrated as Dasara festival commonly called Mysore Dasara.

In Kerala, Vijayadasami is considered auspicious and tens of thousands of children are introduced to reading and writing on this day. In Telangana, Bathukamma festival is celebrated for a period of 9 days during this time.

In Gujarat and parts of Maharastra, especially Mumbai, Navarathri is celebrated with Garba and Dandiya – Raas dance. In West Bengal, Navarathri is celebrated as Durga Puja.

The most common Navarathri story said to children is the slaying of the demon Mahishasura by Mata Durga, The Mahishasura Mardhini. It is a celebration of the victory of the good over the evil. Like many of you, this was the story I heard in my childhood told and retold by my grandparents and other elders. This was the story I read in several books on Navarathri. I loved to hear this story. It had a great moral that good will always win over the evil and that truth will always triumph. However, my mind did not quite settle down. I grew up with this story, but with several questions unanswered in my mind. Was there really a raakshasha called Mahishasura? Did Maata Sakthi really penance for 9 nights to kill him? Did this really happen? As I grew up I put my questions to sleep, until recently things started falling in place. I am truly grateful to my dear Master for bestowing this amazing knowledge on me.

I consolidated the knowledge gathered over a period of time, elaborated as needed and simplified as much as I could to help everyone understand.

In order for us to understand this high knowledge, we first need to understand tatvas like Shiva and Sakthi. We also need to understand about the energy centers in our body called the chakras.

What is Shiva tatva or who is Shiva?
When you say ‘not this, not this, not this’ and discard everything, what remains that is Shiva tatva. Confusing isn’t it? Let me make it simple.

We know that we are not the body, not the mind, not the memory, not the ego, not the emotions .. we are the soul or the atma, otherwise called the consciousness. The consciousness is Shiva. That’s what is Shiva tatva.

Atma only is Shiva. It is the masculine principle. Shiva is the meditative aspect of the entire universe. He pervades the entire universe. He has no form, but is in every form. Shiva is peace, infinity, beauty and the non-dual one. Shiva is eternal. This higher consciousness that is pure is the same consciousness that is present in every living being in this creation. Yes, it is the same consciousness that is in us.

Picture speaks louder than words right? So, we, human beings gave a form to this higher consciousness, Shiva. Snakes are alert all the time. The snake around Shiva’s neck denotes alertness. This is to indicate the liveliness in the consciousness.

The entire universe is within Shiva. The moon on the forehead and the river on the head indicate that. The Trident held in his hand indicates the 3 states – waking, dreaming and sleeping states of the consciousness and this is held by the 4th state of the consciousness which is Shiva tatva.

Damaru or the small drum called udukkai in Tamil, held in his hand represents sound that is part of the universe. Sound travels in the space of energy. That space, the medium that allows sound and light to travel through it is Shiva tatva.

Shiva is the lord of dissolution. Anything that dissolves, goes into space. This is Shiva tatva.

Now that we know what is Shiva tatva, lets see what is Sakthi. As the name indicates, Sakthi is the activating power and energy. It is female principle. It is nature. It is the primordial cause of the material world. From this Sakthi evolve all other elements. The body, mind, emotions, thoughts, ego are all interrelated parts of Sakthi. She is the material cause of the universe.

Sakthi is not conscious in itself. It is latent. Sakthi and its manifestation exists to provide experience to the soul or consciousness so that the consciousness can gain mastery over the external factors and come to an understanding of the true nature.

Shiva and Sakthi cannot exist without each other in this earthly world. Until Sakthi or energy is impregnated with consciousness, Sakthi is ignorant, distorted and blind. Energy alone cannot produce anything. Shiva or consciousness gives Sakthi the direction. Vice versa, Shiva or consciousness without Sakthi or energy is dormant and cannot do anything on its own. It needs energy. In Tamil there is a very famous saying in the movie Thiruvilaiyaadal ‘சக்தி இல்லையேல் சிவன் இல்லை .. சிவன் இல்லையேல் சக்தி இல்லை’. This means there is no Sakthi without Shiva and no Shiva without Sakthi.

Now, lets take a look at the energy centers or the so called chakras.

We all know the gross body, the body which we can touch and feel. The subtle body is the other body that we cannot see, that which carries our mind, our impressions (karma .. ha ha ha). Then, there is the causal body which is the consciousness, atma or the soul.

In the sleeping state, when we sleep, the physical body is at rest. In the dreaming state, the subtle body is active and that is why we get dreams (dreams from the impressions in the mind). In deep sleep, both the physical and subtle bodies go to sleep but the causal body is still awake and aware.

For this topic, we will consider only the subtle body for now. The prana or life force energy flows through the subtle body through channels called naadiis. These energy channels or naadiis have energy points at various locations called the chakras. The one energy as it flows through the various chakras manifests in different forms. There are several chakras in our body, but 7 chakras are the most important.

1. Muladhaara or Basic Chakra – this chakra is at the base of the spine. If the prana is high, the energy here manifests as enthusiasm and if the prana is low, the energy here manifests as inertia.

2. Swadisthana or Sex Chakra – the same energy from the Basic chakra flows through this chakra. It is 4 inches above the base of the spine. Energy manifests here as lust or creativity.

3. Manipura or Naval Chakra – this is in the naval area. The energy manifests here as greed and jealousy or generosity and joy. That is why all these emotions are depicted with the tummy. Lord Ganesha is depicted with a big tummy to indicate generosity. It is the same with laughing Buddha and Santa Claus.

4. Anahata or Heart Chakra – This is located in the center of the chest. Energy here manifests as love, hatred or fear. Only one of these emotions exist at a given time. For example, when there is love, there is no fear or hatred.

5. Vishuddha or Throat chakra – Energy here manifests as grief or gratitude. We have seen that both during grief and gratitude our throat chokes.

6. Ajna or Third Eye chakra – Energy here manifests as anger or alertness.

7. Sahasrara or Crown Chakra – Energy here manifests as sheer bliss.

Now that we have an idea of the different chakras and the emotions associated to these, lets move on to connecting all that we saw above.

As we saw earlier, the Sakthi or energy is not conscious without Shiva. This unconscious latent energy called the Kudalini is dormant at the base of the spine (Muladaara or Basic Chakra)

On the other hand, Shiva or the consciousness is at the crown of the head (Sahasrara or Crown Chakra).

If the person is low in prana or life force energy, then as we saw above, the energy shows in the Basic chakra as inertia. This inertia prohibits the Sakthi energy to rise up and unite with the Shiva or consciousness in the crown or Sahasrara chakra.

When the Sakthi arises and united with Shiva, that is called liberation or nirvana or enlightenment. There is no more duality, only absolute oneness .. the two merging into one. Once this is achieved, then there is nothing else but bliss and unconditional love. This is what all the souls are longing for aren’t they .

Now, how can this oneness be achieved? The only way is to increase the prana or life force, to fight against and eliminate the inertia that prohibits Sakthi from uniting with Shiva. This prana can be increased through several ways like prayer, silence and meditation. Sometimes forgetting oneself in singing and dancing is also a basic form of meditation.

Navarathri is this time of the year when we celebrate the prana, perform prayers and meditate to increase the prana which only can destroy inertia called the Mahishasura. The inertia is the Raakshasha that Sakthi energy fights against to unite with the consciousness called Shiva. This is what Navarathri is all about.

Now the Navarathri story that we kept hearing time and again all makes sense right?

Still few other questions kept lingering.

Why is this celebrated in the night?

Night or rathri is when we go to sleep to get rest. Sleep rejuvenates, so we wake up fresh the next day. Rejuvenation increases the life force energy.

Why 9 nights?
Our life is governed by the 3 gunas – tamas, rajas and satvic. However, we seldom recognize them. When the prana is low, we are dominated by tamas (tamo guna). Tamas qualities include dullness, darkness or negativity and inertia.

Rajas or (rajo guna) has the qualities of distraction, turbulence and active.

Satvic (sattva guna) has the qualities of stability, harmony and virtue. It is light in nature and luminous.

The first 3 days of Navarathri are attributed to tamo guna, when we worship Goddess Durga to eliminate the dullness. The next 3 days are attributed to Rajo guna, when we pray and meditate to streamline our energy. This is when we worship Goddess Lakshmi to streamline the flow of wealth. The last 3 days are attributed to Goddess Saraswathi, the Goddess of wisdom that leads to enlightenment. The essence of this knowledge is honored by celebrating the tenth day as Vijayadasami.

Why during this time of the year?

Navarathri festival is celebrated during autumn, when the trees shed the old leaves in order to get new ones in spring. Animals get ready to hibernate to rejuvenate fresh in spring. This is the time of the year for us to get rid of the inertia and increase the prana to lead towards liberation which is the ultimate goal of the soul.

Hence Sakthi or female principle is celebrated during this period of nine nights as Navarathri. The Sakthi which fights the inertia called the Mahishasura is worshipped and celebrated as Navarathri.

Happy Navarathri to everyone!!

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